Team 573 has grown a little this past year. You may have met our newest team member running around town getting to know the community. A very sweet little lady, Ciapka is smart, funny, and has the thickest, prettiest, curly spotted coat of fur you ever did see! Oh, did I mention she’s a puppy?

Ciapka the Motion Dog on set at Hughes Mountain.

Last year around this time, we set out to find our new 573 Magazine studio dog/mascot. It proved to be a much greater task than we ever imagined, but well worth the digs. We needed a friendly, well mannered pooch who traveled well, could come on set while shooting or filming, and one who could be patient during important meetings at the studio. And of course we needed a dog who could represent our brand at 573 Magazine and Motion Dog Films—we needed our Motion Dog. We weren’t looking for a guard dog, we needed a companion and friend. It took awhile, but we found the perfect dog for us.

Meet Ciapka, the Motion Dog.

Finding our Motion Dog would be step one. We knew we wanted a pup to train to our lifestyle. So we did what everyone does, we started to search all the local animal shelters. Fifteen years ago, when we got our last dog we found him at the Farmington Animal Center. He turned out to be a great dog and he had an amazing and happy life.

This time when we reached out to the local shelters, we were very surprised to hear that the shelters now hold very few dogs for adoption. I thought the world was packed with stray and homeless dogs? Nope, that’s not the case any longer. In fact we reached out to all the shelters in a 100 mile radius, they all now only housed a few animals each and the ones they did have were all on waiting lists to even be considered.

Finally after 3 months of searching, we found a dog that looked like a good fit for us. We went to the shelter and filled out the adoption papers. When we called the shelter to find out when we could pick the dog up, we were told the dog had been adopted—WHAT?!

What the heck is going on with these places?

We left that situation a little frustrated and considered, "Where are we going to get our studio dog?" So we went to the one place where you can find absolutely anything—Facebook.

...searching for the perfect dog

There were tons of choices online and the cost was about the same as getting a dog from a shelter. It wasn’t long before we came to the Available Dogs in Missouri page on Facebook. It's a private group with 27,600 members. We worked our way into the group and started searching for the perfect dog. I soon came to the realization that finding good local people who breed and raise healthy, well cared-for litters of puppies is not only a great way to get exactly what you want in a pet, but it’s a great way to support the local economy.

The point of animal shelters, I thought, was to find good homes for all the zillions of stray dogs, right? Well, I found out that not only are there no longer many dogs needing new homes at the local animal shelters, but if you say the wrong thing—you’re not getting a dog at all.
Newly born Ciapka.
Frustrated...we came to the Available Dogs in Missouri page on Facebook. It's a private group with 27,600 members.
Ciapka with her siblings.

The dog community on the page was great. We were able to learn about different breeds and learn about the people raising the dogs. It was pretty much the exact opposite of what we hear about dog breeders from the media and animal shelters. Most everyone on the site treats their dogs like part of their family. And as a bonus, the pups get more time with qualified dog trainers. We found a nice couple raising American Cocker Spaniels not too far from 573 Headquarters and made the short drive over to Pilot Knob to meet with them and get more information.

With so many pups, it was hard to choose.
When we met with the Medleys, we were invited into their home to see the puppies.

When we met with the Medleys, we were invited into their home to see the puppies. I was surprised to see the mother and the puppies being housed in the Medleys bedroom. We got to meet both the father of the pups and the mother. Both dogs were very well mannered. When we went to pick out our puppy, the mother was fine with us grabbing a pup to hold. There were around ten to choose from—they were all so cool. We picked our pup and left.